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Finally Fulfilled

Yossi Elbaz stood in the endless line that snaked from the Rebbe’s synagogue and extended into the nearby sidewalks. Soon would be his turn to approach the Rebbe and present him with their quest of a lifetime.

Yossi and his wife had been married for over twenty years and still had not merited the birth of a child. Over those years they had experienced disappointments again and again. They had been seen by dozens of expert doctors. Yossi, who worked as a medical technician in a prominent Israeli hospital, had the opportunity to consult with many top professionals, who, in turn, put him in touch with other experts in the field.

The Elbaz’s poured all their resources into their quest to become parents. They spared no expense and visited doctor after doctor, and sought treatment after treatment. However, none of the doctors they saw were able to offer them any benefit. They could not even identify the exact problem that was preventing them from becoming parents. They were given a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility,” which left them confused about where to seek further help.

The one avenue left to them was to seek spiritual advice and blessings, which they did from a host of religious leaders in Israel. However, these blessings were yet to be fulfilled. In the meantime, the years were passing, and the Elbaz’s feared that their chances of becoming parents were slipping away.

But they were not about to give up. A friend of Mrs. Elbaz casually asked her if she had ever sought a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

The Elbaz’s, naturally, had heard a great deal about the Rebbe and the power of his blessings. However, for some reason it had never occurred to them to approach the Rebbe themselves, mostly because they had never had the opportunity to travel from Israel to New York to see him.

However, after her friend’s inquiry, Mrs. Elbaz made up her mind. When Yossi came home from work, she announced, “We are flying to New York to see the Rebbe.”

“What?!” exclaimed Yossi. However, it took him only a few minutes to digest this news, and to agree to it wholeheartedly. Within a week the couple found themselves on a flight to New York.

A few days before their flight, they met Rabbi Yisroel Butman, the Rebbe’s emissary in Nahariya, Israel. He put them in contact with his brother-in-law Naftali, who was a student at the time in the Central Lubavitch Yeshivah in Brooklyn. “He will meet you when you get to New York and explain to you exactly how to make the most out of your trip to the Rebbe.”

Yossi and his wife reached Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and rented a room in a hotel near the Rebbe’s synagogue. The first Shabbat they spent with the Rebbe was the most elevated Shabbat of their lives. They spent nearly every minute of that Shabbat in the Rebbe’s synagogue, soaking up the unique experience.

“The Rebbe spoke in Yiddish,” Yossi recalls, “and as a Moroccan by birth and culture, I didn’t understand a single word. But this didn’t bother me at all. The crowding didn’t disturb me either. The magical atmosphere and the Rebbe’s captivating presence drew me in completely. Even if Shabbat had lasted many more hours, I would have remained in place without noticing the passage of time.”

On Sunday, they joined the dollar line, where the Rebbe would distribute his blessings and dollars to give to charity. Finally it was his turn, and Yossi was standing before the Rebbe.

Yossi could only express a few brief, broken words: “Rebbe, we have no children.”

The Rebbe gave Yossi two dollars and said, “These are for the children in Israel.”

Later Yossi found out that his wife, who had stood in a separate line, had received the identical blessing – word for word.

“You will have children,” chassidim assured them, after hearing the blessing they had received. But the Elbaz’s still had another few difficult years of waiting ahead of them.

Finally, after 25 years of marriage, the blessing was fulfilled. Today Yossi and his wife are parents of two daughters, who were born less than a year apart. One is called Shira Talia, and the other is called Chana, after the Rebbe’s mother.


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